L.T. Milroy and Veruca Salt
On this week’s Mysteries of Laura, we enter the glittery world of cosmetics. So far we’ve explored high fashion and the snooty art world, and now this. Laura Diamond is presented as a very down-to-earth blue collar-type babe, so they keep taking her out of her comfort zone with these crimes. If there’s a future plot involving death at a cupcake factory, or they have to chase down the dreaded Fast-Food Killer, that will be right in Laura’s wheelhouse. This hoitey-toitey stuff, not so much.
Still, she did get to mingle with male strippers this week, and she seemed to enjoy that. The job does have its perks.
LT: In the aftermath of a party, a guy cleans up a bus. This seems like a really pleasant task.
V: Looks like it was a fun party. Maybe he should consider wearing gloves for this gig.
LT: He sees the bathroom is occupied, but when he gets the door open, a dead woman falls out.
V: Maybe not so much fun, then.
LT: Back at the station, there’s a sign-up sheet for something called the Gladiator Rock ‘N Run, one of those endurance events where crazy people run through mud and obstacle courses to prove…I’m not sure what exactly. Who’s craziest, maybe. Meredith and Billy are two of those people, apparently, since they’re both signing up for it.
They agree they have to kick butt this year and be the winning precinct.
V: Well, the winning precinct goes on to American Ninja Warrior, so really, what more incentive do you need? It looks like everyone is pumped for this except for Laura, of course, because she gets her rockin’ bod by lying around eating junk food. Uh huh. She finds the whiff of testosterone intoxicating, I guess, forgetting that Meredith is standing right there signing up.
LT: Jake shows up with the kids.
He says the babysitter is busy at a rally saving the children of another country besides Brooklyn. It’s time to find a new sitter. So no more rebel chick? They just give her food poisoning then unceremoniously write her out? Boo on that.
V: What the heck? I liked her. She must have gotten another gig. That totally sucks.
LT: Max interrupts their domestic drama to say he hates to be a Debbie Downer, but there’s been a murder.
The kids ask dad about the Run, but Jake says he won’t be taking part, because Billy and Det. Sourpuss have been training for months, after all, so there’s no way he can just step in now and enter.
V: It’s at that point I become sure Jake and Laura will take part in the Run, while Meredith and Billy will have to sit it out. I wind up being half right.
LT: Alejandro walks in and smiles at Laura, and you know this is leading to a whose-is-bigger between him and Jake.
V: Helllooooo, Detective Sexypants! Come to mama. That smile is a panty-melter, for sure.
LT: Before Alejandro can talk to Laura, Jake does some major c**k-blocking, even above and beyond his usual. Ugh.
V: He’s not trying to hide it. He even uses the kids. What a douche.
LT: Alejandro then notices the Run poster and says the DEA is going to have a team. That leads Jake to say that as squad captain, of course he’ll be taking part. That’s a testosterone flare-up Jake will no doubt be regretting, sooner rather than later.
V: See, already my prediction is coming true. And this is Billy’s reaction to the news.
LT: Laura and Billy are with the body on the party bus. They notice an imprint of a ring on her face, like a half-moon. She also has some glitter on her, which is “only found on eight-year-olds and strippers,” according to Laura.
V: Don’t knock glitter, Laura. It’s shiny.
LT: And don’t knock strippers!
The driver tells them the bus had been rented out by some Wall Street jerks.
V: At first he doesn’t want to give the info on the customers, because he’ll get in trouble, until Laura threatens to tell the manager.
He decides to spill. After taking the Wall Street guys home around midnight, the driver noticed some gals on 48th, and picked them up.
LT: Stay away from them 48th Street gals, they’ll always getcha in trouble.
V: Hey, he said they looked primed for a good time. So he decided to drive them around and make some extra money on the side. Okay then. And what with them getting on and off (no pun intended), sometimes with guys, it was hard to keep track of anyone.
He says the last he saw of the victim, she was going to a Chippendales-type strip club, Hunkerific.
Though Laura calls them “Village People 2.0,” it doesn’t stop her from snapping a few pics. Then she notices what she calls, “stripper transfer.”
So, I guess the dudes were the ones wearing the glitter. See, Laura? Don’t go judging people so quickly. The victim was a nice lady with some stripper transfer.
LT: She shows a waiter a picture of bus girl. He says he saw her last night, and she didn’t look happy.
V: Aw, that’s too bad. All of those hunky dudes stripping for her, and she’s not into it. He said something about a lap dance, but at male strip clubs, they don’t do lap dances. They just kind of fake grind all over you.
She ordered a Chartreuse and tonic with extra mint and said she was more into green drinks than green eyes. Sad Panda. From this they guess they’re looking for a stripper with green eyes. That’s a big leap there, Laura, even for you.
LT: Laura thinks they should “spread out” at the club, and Billy correctly guesses that’s so she can check out the scenery in peace.
V: Can’t blame a sister for wanting to have her drool time.
LT: A dancer dressed as a cop, Captain Silver, offers Laura a lap dance.
Captain Silver isn’t a very good porn name. What about something like Hugh G. Rection or Harry Anaconda, something classy like that?
V: He’s got green eyes, so she takes him up on it. I’m sure that’s the only reason.
LT: She questions him as he’s gyrating.
V: I stand corrected. Wowza.
She mentions the woman and the Chartreuse drink. At about that time, a busboy approaches, and starts to bend over to do something, but the stripper signals him to get out of there. He hurries to the back while Laura, in turn, signals Billy.
LT: Busboy guy has taken a bag and knife from his locker, as Billy enters and tells him to drop it.
Stripper boy doesn’t like Laura’s questions and says the dance is over, but Laura trips him as he walks away, badges him, and says, “Your cuffs or mine?”
V: Looks like they’ve got a good business going.
Stripper cop is being an ass and threatening the busboy, Lyle, but he’s giving up everything, anyway. I guess that’s why he’s free to roam around while stripper cop is handcuffed to the chair.
LT: During questioning, Laura and Billy find that Lyle and Capt. Long Dong Silver were robbing customers. Lyle says all they did was take the dead girl’s wallet and shows it to them. There’s a pen in it from the Reading Hotel.
V: On their way out, they tell the guys the cops are on their way. Okay, first of all, I don’t care how cooperative Lyle was, once the cops leave, he can be in the next county, and that chair Mr. Hotpants is attached to can be dragged around with ease.
LT: Jake is watching a video of last year’s Run to see what he’s gotten himself into.
Max comes in and says he’s a big fan. As a spectator, of course. Last year he brought muffins. He says there’s still time to pull out, but Jake insists he wants to do it. Since Billy finished first last year, Max says he’ll schedule a training session with him for Jake.
V: Jake, what is the matter with you?
The course was designed by British Special Forces. Look at Billy. The man is pure muscle and looks like he’s up for it. You look like you’ve been doing what you’ve been doing. Eating pizza and cronuts. Give. It. Up.
LT: Alejandro stops by, and since he’s already been interrogated by Jake, now it’s Max’s turn.
Max has noticed Alejandro is interested in Laura and wants to know his intentions. He’s asking as, you know, Laura’s BFF. Alejandro promises it’s just dinner for now then asks if he’s passed the Max test.
V: I don’t know. But you passed mine. Swoon.
LT: Keep it in your pants.
Max seems so pleased to be asked for approval that he spills on Laura: she’s partial to orchids, sugar, all things Madonna, and most things Billy Joel, pre-River of Dreams.
These guys are so marking their territory around Laura this week, I hope she’s wearing hip boots.
V: She’s the cool chick everyone wants.
LT: At the Reading Hotel, there’s a convention being held, and Laura notices a logo on a poster similar to the markings on the victim’s cheek.
Then she notices several women wearing leaf rings that look the same.
The convention is for Garden of Glow cosmetics, featuring the company’s founder, Margot Preston (played by Brenda Strong, who’s popped up with regularity on my TV over the past fifteen years).
V: They are SO throwing shade at Mary Kay cosmetics here it’s not even funny, with it sounding almost like a cult. All of the women yelling the same thing when prompted. It’s really accurate.
LT: Margot is fifty-nine years old, and she looks much younger, so this is apparently one of her big selling points. She says by the end of the convention, someone will be named Gold Leaf Woman of the Year. Then behind her they project all of the nominees for that honor, and one of them is their dead girl, now known as Julie Campbell from Alaska.
V: When Laura surmises someone must have wanted to narrow the competition, Billy’s falsetto “Whatever it takes,” is hilarious.
LT: Laura asks Margot about Julie. Margot, who has a folksy Southern accent and manner, is very busy, but says Julie had just joined the Gold Leaf Circle. Margot gives Laura a business card and tells her to call her lawyer if Laura has any questions for her or her reps.
V: She also turns a lot of that syrupy southern charm on Billy. I call BS on the accent, since at the beginning of the speech she sounded Brooklyn, then seemed to adjust it. “You’re all winnuhs.”
LT: Laura thinks she’s hiding something. As she and Billy walk away, an excessively perky convention-goer comes up to Laura and tells her she could be a ten.
Her name is Heidi, and she’s trying to get into the Gold Circle, so she’s hitting the streets to sell her beauty crap. She’s very chatty, so Laura and Billy invite her and her bag of crap to the station.
Heidi holds a little beauty symposium for all the female cops…
and Max, who’s cooperatively smeared some pink goop on his face and is wearing a little yellow hair clip.
V: Ms. PissyFace has decided not to cover her pissy face in goop then throws shade at Laura’s age while wearing a pissy face.
LT: At least she’s consistent.
V: Listen, honey, if you look half as good as Laura does at her age, you’ll be doing just fine.
LT: And as we have seen, all it takes is a strict regimen of no exercise and lots of junk food!
As they sample the cosmetics, Laura talks about how it’s too bad about Julie. Heidi doesn’t know what happened on the bus, because that was for Gold Circle members only, which she isn’t.
V: The way she says, “No biggie,” makes me think it is a biggie.
LT: Meredith asks about those special Gold Circle ladies, and Heidi says Julie had issues with Danielle. She heard the two got in an argument, and Danielle shoved her.
V: Turns out Danielle is the reigning Gold Leaf winner, and “A real witch, with a capital B.”
LT: Meanwhile in the station’s manly sector, Billy is helping Jake train, which means closely monitoring his diet. He makes him a protein shake with kale for lunch, along with a piece of delicious skinless chicken.
What, no cod’s liver oil? Billy also confiscated Jake’s $300 bottle of scotch from his office that the commissioner gave him, to remove temptation.
V: By the way he said it, he made it sound like he threw it away. He could have just hidden it until after the race.
Billy is hardcore.
LT: He better have just hidden it temporarily. I don’t care how finely muscled he is, he throws my $300 bottle of hooch away, and he’s going down.
V: Jake is in serious pain and limps out to find Max.
He still has the goop all over his face.
LT: Jake must feel like he’s entered another dimension.
V: When Max is asked who came in second in the race last year, I think everyone can see the answer coming a mile away. It’s Meredith, of course.
LT: Laura talks to Danielle, who claims she lost track of Julie at Hunkerific. Danielle is quite self-involved, and is getting ready for some serious tanning as they talk.
She strips naked then complains that Julie made the Gold Circle within a year. She had a sugar daddy buying up all her stuff, which got shipped to Hoboken. Then Danni excuses herself and gets in the booth. Laura turns up the dial all the way before she leaves. That’s going to be one impressive tan.
V: Jake is worried the woman will sue them for police brutality. The goods are traced to a storage facility in Jersey, but due to Laura’s bad behavior, it will be Billy and Meredith checking it out. This is Laura’s reaction.
Once at the storage place, they hear the sound of chickens, so they manage to take down a cockfighting ring while they’re there. All in a day’s work.
LT: That had nothing to do with anything, and was kind of weird. Inside Julie’s unit, along with cosmetics, is a big poster of articles about Margot, which is headlined “The Lies of Margot Preston.”
Julie thought Margot was a fraud and was trying to expose her.
Back at the station, Meredith has uncovered that Julie Campbell of Alaska is really Julie Peters of New Jersey. She was building a case against the Garden of Glow. She was a journalist, but they don’t know who she was working for. She’d recently moved in with a guy named Ethan, who Billy interviews.
Ethan says Julie was his best friend, and he also has an alibi. He was down on the shore with Omaha, his Counting Crows cover band. Billy wonders if that’s actually a thing, and so do I. A fake, crappy copy of a crappy band? Sounds like a really enjoyable evening.
V: They have a YouTube channel. I assume you won’t be checking it out.
LT: Not any time soon. And “down on the shore?” All Garden-Staters know it’s just down the shore. This ain’t a real Jersey boy.
Billy shows Ethan a photo of the board in the storage unit, and he says he’s seen it before. He calls it Project Margot. Julie was working on a story. She maxed out her credit card buying beauty stuff so she could get into the convention.
He also says Julie’s mom had been a rep for Garden of Glow and died six months ago after going broke buying cosmetics. Julie called him the night she died to say she had found the smoking gun and was ready to confront Margot.
Sick of Billy’s strict diets, Jake turns for training to second-place Meredith.
V: He must be desperate. I picture her as a way harder taskmaster than Billy.
LT: True to form, her method is exercise, and she’s got Jake doing endless sit-ups. It may not actually be endless, it’s just that it takes so long for him to do each one.
V: The “COME ON, YOU WUSS!” tells me I’m correct in my assumption.
LT: Then his back cracks, and he gingerly gets off the floor. He’s trying to walk it off as Alejandro comes in. Jake says he’s training and asks how Alejandro is doing. He clarifies that his office is doing the run, not him, since it’s for “muscleheads in their twenties.”
V: I’m sure Billy and Meredith and all of the other people in their thirties, aren’t insulted at all by this description.
LT: Alejandro asks where Laura is, and Jake says to back off. Then he gets honest instead of just being a possessive jerk and says he’s trying to get Laura back. Alejandro knows why they broke up, but Jake says he’s trying to change and trying to prove to Laura that he can.
V: Wait. He said he took the captain’s job solely to show Laura he can change? Oh geez, Jake. Really? Stalker, much?
LT: Seriously, maintaining a strong police force and wanting to serve the community and all that BS didn’t even enter into his decision? Okay.
Jake explains how he’s working on beating that whole serial-cheater thing and is trying to prove to Laura that he can, and in the meantime, he’d prefer not to have obstacles. Alejandro agrees to downgrade from pursuit to monitor. But if Jake dies at the Run, he says he’s taking Laura to the funeral.
Laura and Billy talk with the hotel desk clerk.
V: He’s quite pompous and jerky and tries to make them get a search warrant to get Margot’s room service bill, until Laura talks about murder and bedbugs to the potential guests. It’s on the bill they discover the Chartreuse and tonic. So, Julie was in the room with Margot.
LT: At the station, Laura questions Margot.
After her lawyer tries to stop her from talking a hundred times, she says Julie came to her room to complain about her mom and talk about how she was going to bring Margot down. Margot says she offered her $100,000 to keep the accusations quiet.
Laura says Julie must have found out something big, but Margot brushes that off and says the payment was “nuisance money.” Julie turned it down, but Margot had her lawyer wire $200,000 and it’s in her hotel room.
V: Field trip, so Laura can find out what 200K looks like!
LT: On the way back to the room, they run into the perky Heidi, who asks Margot if anything is wrong. Margot tells her there isn’t, so Heidi bubbles about how she made the Gold Leaf Circle.
V: Thanks to Laura. Then Laura finds out Heidi is in a suite, and Heidi quotes Margot: “In order to be a success, you have to spend like a success.”
Now we know how Julie’s mom wound up in the poor house. I presume they don’t take into account how the person saying that considers 200K to be a drop in the bucket.
In her room, Margot opens the safe, and the money is there.
I love how Laura sniffs the money.
LT: Then Laura hears a toilet flush and asks to use the bathroom. The “power of suggestion” she says, then asks Billy to follow. He shrugs and says to Margot, “It’s a partner thing.”
Okay, that didn’t look awkward or suspicious at all.
V: Yeah. Two women, no eyebrow raising. But this? Nope.
Laura tells Billy that hearing a toilet flushing from another room makes her think that someone may have heard Margot and Julie arguing last night and wanted to defend their matron saint of beauty. She says she once dated a plumber who told her that if you want to know what’s going on in a building, you listen to the pipes, since they conduct sound.
Good to know. I won’t be having any top-secret meetings in my bathroom any more.
LT: Then Laura snoops through Margot’s toiletries and finds something interesting.
V: Laura gets the list of the room assignments and finds out who’s in the room just below Margot’s. They’ve found their murderer. Now they have to draw that person out.
LT: Danielle is on stage, about to introduce a speech by Margot. Danielle is looking a bit baked by her extreme tanning booth experience. Laura jumps up and interrupts her, then makes a crack about her orange face.
Danielle runs off.
V: A guard approaches, but Laura barely takes a moment to badge him.
LT: Laura introduces Margot by saying how fabulous she looks for fifty-nine, then mentions she came across some birth control pills in her bathroom and wonders what miracle of nature makes a woman her age need those. Then she says she saw Margot’s birth date on her Xanax bottle, and it seems she’s only forty-three.
V: It’s awesome how Laura encompasses the whole room and says how Margot duped all of them, in an attempt at sisterhood.
LT: As Laura laces into Margot, Heidi can stand it no longer. She has a leave-Britney-alone moment and screeches at Laura to stop it.
But it’s Heidi’s idolizing of Margot that’s her downfall. The cops traced Heidi’s cell phone from the night before and discovered she followed the party bus. She heard the argument and couldn’t allow Julie to ruin Margot, so she killed her. Heidi is cuffed and led away.
All the while she’s mumbling about “Gold Leaf.” Yeah, she’s stable.
Laura has advice for all the fountain of youth seekers in the room: “You can’t be forty-three forever. Deal with it.”
V: Would have loved if she did the mic-dropping thing here that she did last week.
LT: And we’re finally at the Rock ‘N Run.
Crawling through mud…
Climbing walls and monkey bars…
Ugh. I’d rather spend the day doing just about anything else. A gym is fine, but this kind of exercise is a massive turn-off. Like I’d ever voluntarily do anything that got me caked with mud like that. Not in this lifetime.
V: I second and third that. But the actors who play Billy and Meredith, WOW, are they in good shape.
LT: Jake starts off okay, then starts losing steam.
V: He hits the wall. Literally.
LT: Eventually, Meredith and Billy are waiting for him after each event and cheering him on.
Then they basically have to carry him across the finish line.
They come in dead last, and Jake feels bad until he’s told he’s the first captain to ever do the Run. Because of this, he has some admiring fans. The women of the 7th Precinct want their picture taken with him, and he’s only too happy to oblige. He smiles as they gather around him.
Billy says, “They’ve been Jaked.” *Barf*
V: The thing is, he’s supposed to be someone who makes everyone, men and women, fall in love with him because he’s so charming and cool. They’re trying to make this Jaked thing happen, but frankly, I’ve been Alejandroed.
LT: You can’t make fetch happen, and they can’t make Jaked happen, no matter how hard they try! But he’s paying the price for his hubris. The gang ends up at a restaurant, where Jake is in great pain.
Meredith talks about how he honored the request of one of the ladies of the 7th to sign her boob. I guess he can work on that changing-his-ways thing next week. Laura says Heidi confessed. She couldn’t convince Julie to keep quiet, so she killed her. Jake says the media is tearing Margot apart over the whole age thing.
Max arrives with the kids. Is he going to be the babysitter? That would be interesting, going from having no paying jobs to having two, and in the span of a week.
V: And look, he brought ice for Jake’s knee and…other regions lower down.
LT: Jake tells his boys that he was the hero of the Run today, but they don’t even remember what that is. He stuck with it partly to impress his kids, and they have typical short-term childhood memories and no idea what he’s talking about, instead wanting to play foosball. So he gives up and takes them. Poor Jake. He’s still a tool.
V: You know what would have helped with this, rather than telling the boys AFTER the fact? Having them see their father do something besides be a tool. To show him struggling and working hard for something and getting it done, despite wanting to give up. What a nice lesson that would have been.
LT: Interesting that they apparently didn’t even think to bring the kids along. The Run sounds like a family affair; Max brings muffins, for goodness sake! Maybe they were afraid those little terrors would just run around and wreak havoc all day instead of watching dad? Way to give up and cede control to your kids, guys.
The Quote of the Week – Comes from Laura, after talking with Margot for the first time: “Any woman her age with skin that tight, can’t be trusted.”
Your reconvoers will have to do without being Jaked next week, as Laura and crew take some time off. The next episode is Nov. 19, The Mystery of the Dysfunctional Dynasty. A description:
Religious motives are suspected in a couple’s murder. Meanwhile, Laura and Jake look for a new nanny and encounter a familiar face in their search.
So have fun and try not to miss us too much.